What started out to be a good day made a 180 degree turn around 1PM today. I was coming out of Doit Center when I received a call. It was a person from Volcan that had gone to the Regional Hospital to visit one of the two current U.S. citizens, I have been checking in on.
He informed me that the one who had had the knee operation had died. He asked if I could come to the hospital. I said I would be right over.
I was shocked. I had visited with him on Monday and he was doing well. The operations were going well. He had three of the five needed knee operations and had two to go. One being a skin graft and I forget what the other was for.
We had visited for close to an hour Monday and, all things considered, he looked the best I had seen him. He apparently suffered a heart attack, most likely because of the stress of being so far from where he lived and difficulties in communicating with hospital staff. He suffered from diabetes and hypertension and this must have been the last straw.
The thing that disturbed me as much as anything today was that he died at 12:30 PM according to the doctor I spoke with. At 3:30 PM, after talking to the doctor, he was still in his hospital bed, among the other patients, and he didn’t even have his face covered with the sheet.
I told this to the social workers in the hospital and they didn’t believe it. I told them to go down and look and that I felt this was deplorable. This definitely upset me.
While I was waiting to talk to the doctor, I went upstairs and saw the other U.S. patient. His told me his son was here and working on taking care of the paperwork so,that he could be transported to the U.S.
His story is also troubling. As I was leaving the hospital I happened to meet his son. Gringos tend to be easily recognized. He is having another problem. The doctor that had cleared his father to travel to the US was now changing his mind and not sure he was going to release him.
One of the conditions that the son had on coming done was that his father could travel by commercial airline. The doctor had previously said it was fine and to come down.
The son is meeting with the doctor tomorrow along with a translator and he asked if I could attend the meeting. I will be there.
Those three hours I spent today in the Regional hospital completely drained me. My hope is that tomorrow is better.